Requesting Legal Assistance from the ACLU of Illinois

Complaint Policies and Procedures

Rights Violated? Please Read This First:

The ACLU of Illinois solely takes cases where the incident occurred in the state of Illinois, or cases involving residents of Illinois. The organization is not a provider of general legal services; it only litigates cases where there has been a violation of a person’s civil rights, primarily by the government. We do not practice criminal law or generally take cases where rights have been violated by a private entity. After receiving your request, it may take up to two weeks to receive a response from the Intake Department. As such, if your case is extremely time-sensitive, you may wish to consult a private attorney. The ACLU of Illinois cannot provide legal advice unless the organization has accepted your case. The receipt of and/or response to your inquiry does not indicate the acceptance of your case. 

FILE A REQUEST FOR LEGAL ASSISTANCE

As one of more than 50 state ACLU affiliates around the country, the ACLU of Illinois covers only legal matters that occur within the state of Illinois. If you need assistance about a legal matter that occurred outside of Illinois, please consult the affiliate directory prepared by the National ACLU to find the appropriate ACLU office.

The ACLU of Illinois works to preserve and protect the civil liberties and rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, the Illinois Constitution, and state and federal human rights laws. Examples of these rights include freedom of speech, press, religion and association; due process; equal protection; privacy; and freedom from discrimination based on disability, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion or national origin.

The ACLU normally takes cases that affect a large number of people rather than those involving a dispute between individual parties. Unfortunately, The ACLU cannot refer you to individual private attorneys.

We generally do not accept the following types of cases. For assistance in these types of matters, please refer to the agencies listed.

Contacting the ACLU to describe your problem will not guarantee the ACLU will represent you. Due to the enormous demand for representation and our limited resources, the ACLU cannot represent everyone who has a valid legal claim. We are not a provider of general legal services.

Important Note About Deadlines:
All legal claims have time deadlines, known in legal terms as “statutes of limitation.” The deadlines may be different depending on who violated your rights and which rights were violated. For some kinds of violations, you may need to file a claim with a government agency before you can sue, and these agencies have their own time deadlines. If you do not comply with the applicable statute of limitations, you may be legally barred from pursuing your claim in court. Contacting the ACLU to describe your problem does not mean that the ACLU represents you, and will not stop the statute of limitations from running. The ACLU cannot give you advice about the deadlines that apply to your case. To protect your rights, please consult an attorney promptly to find out what deadline may apply in your case.

The ACLU of Illinois solely takes cases where the incident occurred in the state of Illinois, or cases involving residents of Illinois. The organization is not a provider of general legal services; it only litigates cases where there has been a violation of a person’s civil rights, primarily by the government. We do not practice criminal law or generally take cases where rights have been violated by a private entity. After receiving your request, it may take up to two weeks to receive a response from the Intake Department. As such, if your case is extremely time-sensitive, you may wish to consult a private attorney. The ACLU of Illinois cannot provide legal advice unless the organization has accepted your case. The receipt of and/or response to your inquiry does not indicate the acceptance of your case.

Please use the online Request for Legal Assistance form (preferred) or mail or fax us a summary of your legal issue.  Please be aware we do not have any in-office appointments.

Online: Request for Legal Assistance Form
By Post: ACLU of Illinois Intake Department
180 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2300
Chicago, IL 60601(Please include a phone number or email where you can be reached.)
By Fax: (312) 288-5225